Betta fish are beautiful tropical fish that have a massive worldwide fanbase. There are several different varieties of bettas, but have you ever heard of a GloFish betta?
Are GloFish bettas a natural variant or a manmade color morph? Are GloFish bettas more challenging to care for than regular bettas? And where can you buy GloFish betta fish?
Read this guide to find out everything you need to know about caring for the exotic GloFish betta!
GloFish Betta – Overview
|Glofish Betta Info|
|Scientific name:||Betta splendens|
|Common names:||Glofish betta|
|Size:||2 to 3 inches|
|Lifespan:||2 to 5 years|
|Diet:||Omnivore but needs a high-protein diet containing mostly meaty foods|
|Minimum tank size:||5 gallons|
|Water temperature:||75 and 81°F.|
|Water parameters:||pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5, with a water hardness of 3 to 4 dGH.|
What Is a GloFish betta?
The original GloFish was created by inserting fluorescent genes obtained from sea anemones and jellyfish into the eggs of a black and silver Zebra danio.
The genes produce color proteins that fluoresce, producing that famous fluorescent color.
GloFish bettas absorb light in a particular wavelength before readmitting the light, producing a distinctive glow. By keeping the fish under actinic blue and black lights, you can enhance the fish’s dazzling colors.
The idea of the experiment was to enable scientists to determine when waterbodies were contaminated. Basically, if the fish glowed, that meant that the water they were placed in contained pollutants.
Over the years, the technique was used to market various tropical fish species under the GloFish banner.
These fluorescent fish quickly gained traction in the hobby, and bettas were added to the list.
Are GloFish Bettas Dyed?
The first thing to understand is that GloFish bettas are not dyed or artificially colored in any way.
The fish’s harmless color is produced through a hereditary genetic trait that’s passed down through generations of bettas.
Are There Wild GloFish Bettas?
In the wild environment, there are no brightly colored GloFish bettas!
Wild bettas tend to be dark green or sludge-brown in color so that they don’t stand out to their prey or to predators that might view the betta as a food source.
If you do spot a wild GloFish betta, it’s most likely that he’s been released by his owner. We do not condone that, as the fish would quickly become prey for a passing bird or larger fish.
In addition, pet bettas are a different variety from the wild variety, and interbreeding would damage the wild gene pool.
What Color GloFish Bettas Are There?
GloFish colors include red, pink, green, orange, purple, and blue. Those common colors are known in the trade as:
- Starfire Red
- Electric Green
- Sunburst Orange
- Cosmic Blue
- Galactic Purple
- Moonrise Pink
Although a regular betta’s brilliant color certainly adds plenty of pop to any tropical fish tank, the magnificent colors of a GloFish betta can give your display something truly special.
Do GloFish Bettas Change Color?
A GloFish betta generally enjoys lifelong color. However, sometimes, Electric Green GloFish bettas are born with red pigmentation. As those fish mature, their bodies and fins can sometimes turn red.
However, that phenomenon is only seen in two to four percent of GloFish bettas, and those fish without red pigmentation won’t change color.
If your green betta does begin to turn red, don’t worry. The red color change is part of a natural process, and your pet’s health will not be affected.
How Long Do GloFish Bettas Live?
GloFish betta fish have a typical life expectancy of two to four years. However, you can extend the life of your pet by providing him with the correct living conditions and a high-quality, varied diet.
GloFish bettas are unavailable in some regions because of legal issues surrounding their genetically modified color. So, before you try to buy a GloFish betta, double-check that you can legally own one in your state.
You can sometimes find GloFish bettas in your local fish store or direct from the producer online.
If you want to enjoy the fluorescent experience, you should know that these gorgeous fish, with their vibrant colors, are not cheap to buy. The typical retail price of a female fish is around $30, while a male betta will set you back closer to $55 for a single fish!
Sometimes, you can buy a female betta sorority for a slightly reduced rate.
GloFish Betta Fish Care Guide
In this part of our guide to GloFish bettas, we explain how to care for these stunning fish and bring their glorious colors to life.
What Tank Is Best for a GloFish Betta?
GloFish bettas are classified as nano fish. That means you don’t need a massive tank to keep one of these beauties.
So, you can keep a GloFish betta in a 5-gallon tank. However, if you want to add a few suitable tank mates to keep your GloFish betta company, you should choose a larger aquarium.
Fish bowls are not suitable for bettas, as they don’t provide enough space for a filter or heater, and the surface area is not large enough for good gaseous exchange and adequate oxygenation of the tank.
Betta fish can jump, so you need a tank with a tightly fitting lid or a cover slide.
Since bettas are anabantoid fish, they regularly need to breathe atmospheric air through their labyrinth organ at the water’s surface, we recommend a rectangular tank with plenty of surface area.
Ideally, the tank lid should have a convenient feeding hole to make feeding your pet hassle-free.
Bettas are tropical fish that need a water temperature of between 75 and 81°F.
Ideally, the ambient temperature in the room where your betta is housed should be the same or close to that of the water in the tank. This is extremely important for the health of your GloFish betta’s labyrinth organ.
The ideal water chemistry for bettas is a pH level of between 6.5 and 7.5, with a water hardness of 3 to 4 dGH.
Betta fish are curious, intelligent fish that love to have plenty of distractions in their habitat to keep them mentally and physically stimulated throughout the day.
So, add lots of smooth rocks, driftwood, and quirky fish decorations, and be sure to include a couple of caves that your territorial fish can claim as his own.
Dense planting is also a great inclusion in a betta tank. Plants are excellent for the health of your tank since they remove nitrates and CO2 from the water and produce oxygen through photosynthesis.
Bettas love to hide in and rest on plants; floating aquatic plant species make an excellent anchor for a betta’s bubble nest.
Betta fish don’t appreciate very bright lighting conditions. In their wild origins, the light is typically dim and often shaded by overhanging vegetation.
So, a regular fish tank LED lighting unit is more than sufficient for a regular planted betta tank. If you want to add more dappled shade to the environment, you could use floating plant species to diffuse the light from above.
However, to maximize the attractive colors and fluorescent protein of your GloFish betta, you should use actinic, black, or blue lights to make your dayglo fish’s colors really pop!
GloFish bettas should be kept in tanks with a filtration system that’s suitable for the aquarium volume. Ideally, you want a filter that puts out a GPH rate (Gallons Per Hour) of at least four times the tank volume.
A filter system is essential in any fish tank to keep the tank clean and reduce levels of harmful nitrates in the water.
However, GloFish bettas are not strong swimmers, and they don’t appreciate a fast current within their tank. So, you should choose a system that produces a gentle water flow or buffer the flow by using plants or decorations or consider installing a sponge filter.
Male betta fish are notoriously aggressive and territorial, so tank mates for your fluorescent fish pet must be chosen carefully.
Never keep two male betta fish in the same tank! The fish will certainly fight, sometimes to the death.
Sometimes, people like to keep several male bettas in one tank with dividers fitted to keep the fish apart. However, even seeing another male close by can trigger aggressive flaring, which undoubtedly stresses the fish.
Stress is a major cause of disease outbreaks in fish. When the fish is stressed, its immune system is compromised, allowing bacteria and parasites to attack the creature.
Suitable tank mates for betta fish include other small, peaceful fish species, snails, and larger shrimp.
You should avoid adding large, aggressive fish that might bully the betta. Sometimes, other varieties of brightly colored GloFish can trigger the betta to attack and are best avoided.
GloFish Betta Diet and Feeding
GloFish bettas are omnivorous fish that are pretty easy to cater to, enjoying a protein-rich diet with some plant matter included.
Wild bettas have upturned mouths with tiny teeth. The fish snatch water-bound insects from above and feed on tiny crustaceans and insect larvae. A small amount of algae and plant matter completes the betta’s diet.
In captivity, you can feed your betta fish on a diet of high-protein commercial fish foods, including high-quality betta pellets, freeze-dried meaty proteins such as bloodworms, and frozen meaty foods like bloodworms, daphnia, mosquito larvae, and brine shrimp.
What About Live Foods?
However, much of the commercially produced live food that you can buy in pet stores comes with hitchhikers in the form of parasites and diseases that can harm your betta.
So, unless you have a home brine hatchery, we recommend you stick to feeding your pet frozen meaty foods instead.
Foods that are high in beta carotene and carotenoids can help to boost the color of your GloFish betta.
How Often Should I Feed My GloFish Betta?
Don’t overfeed your betta fish! Overfeeding can cause horrendous digestive problems for your pet, including bloat and constipation.
So, you should feed your fish twice daily, offering only what your pet will clear in a couple of minutes.
Bettas benefit from one day per week when they don’t receive any food at all.
And that’s not cruel! A fasting day allows any residual food in your betta’s digestive tract to move through before more is added, preventing problems such as constipation and associated swim bladder issues.
Are GloFish Bettas Healthy Fish?
The betta fish family is generally pretty healthy, provided you give your pet the optimum habitat and a high-quality diet.
The GloFish betta fish’s special colors don’t affect the creature’s overall health.
That said, there are a few diseases and health conditions that can affect your pet that you need to know about before you get your new pet home.
If you know how to spot the signs of ill health in your GloFish betta, you can take steps to treat him immediately, hopefully leading to a speedy and full recovery.
Ich (White Spot Disease)
Ich or White Spot Disease is one of the most common diseases of freshwater fish, including bettas.
The condition is caused by an aquatic parasite called Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. The parasite is present in many aquariums and only becomes a problem when a fish is already diseased or stressed.
Luckily, the disease is easily treatable with over-the-counter medication that you’ll get from your local fish or pet store.
Velvet disease is also known as coral, rust, or gold-dust disease and can affect marine fish and freshwater species.
The condition is caused by a dinoflagellate parasite that produces a dusty, brown-gold effect on the fish’s skin.
Fin rot is a bacterial condition that causes the infected fish’s fins and tail to become ragged and torn, and to sometimes bleed.
Columnaris (Cotton Mouth disease)
Columnaris is a bacterial condition that appears as white, fluffy growths around the fish’s facial area. Infected fish can also develop lesions on their bodies and torn and ripped fins.
GloFish Betta Breeding
Betta fish can be quite straightforward to breed in a home spawning tank.
However, if you fancy trying your hand at a fun fish breeding project, you should know that these gorgeous LED fish must only be crossed with each other.
The bright colors, color availability, and the price of these fish makes breeding them for sale a tempting proposition.
However, you must only use other GloFish bettas for breeding. In addition, you must obtain a special license from GloFish before you start, and that’s not easy to do.
Did you enjoy our guide to GloFish bettas? If you found the information contained in this article helpful, please take a moment to share it with other readers!
GloFish bettas are genetically modified fish that have fluorescent genes. The fish are not colored by dyes or other artificial means, so they are just as healthy and long-lived as regular bettas.
If you want to enjoy the GloFish experience, you’ll need to have deep pockets, as these beauties can fetch up to $55 for one of these cool fish!
Do you have a GloFish betta? Tell us about your pet in the comments box below!